Globe Trot A summary of international news compiled by senior editor Mindy Belz

Water, water everywhere

International | Disastrous flooding hits South Asia and Texas
by Mindy Belz
Posted 8/30/17, 05:51 pm

FLOODS: Abnormal seasonal flooding has killed 1,200 people across India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

In Texas, the largest oil refinery in the United States began a temporary shutdown today due to flooding caused by Harvey. The BBC has some good maps of the flooded delta region. Local faith-based relief groups working in the Houston area listed here.

BURMA: At least 18,500 Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma (also known as Myanmar), crossing into neighboring Bangladesh after clashes with government troops resumed last week—many of them crossing the border with bullet wounds and burns. The government’s persistent targeting of the Rohingya people is one reason U.S. refugee admissions from Burma are among the highest from any country, with more than 4,700 so far this year.

MEDITERRANEAN: Today is the International Day of the Disappeared, and there have been no migrant sea deaths for 20 days—sadly, a record.

IRAQ: Ahead of an independence referendum for the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Kurdish forces—using Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias—are blocking Yazidis from returning to their homeland. The United States, the European Union, and others declared the 2014 ISIS assault on Yazidi areas in Iraq a genocide.

Authorities opened the only border crossing between Jordan and Iraq for the first time in more than two years, as Iraqi forces are routing the last of ISIS remnants in the Iraqi city of Tel Afar.

AFGHANISTAN: It’s odd that The New York Times gave Erik Prince op-ed space to sell his case for the U.S. government contracting the Afghan War to him. His team didn’t have a great record in Iraq, and Afghanistan already has more than a brigade’s worth of U.S. contractors: 26,000.

TURKEY: The government’s treatment of American pastor Andrew Brunson is part of its “hostage diplomacy” aimed at using innocent Westerners as bargaining chips.

MAN KNOWS NOT HIS TIME: An expert on the intersection between faith and public life—and a personal friend—passed away on Monday—my reflections on Michael Cromartie.

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Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.

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  •  SBTB's picture
    Posted: Wed, 08/30/2017 08:15 pm

    26,000 is much more than a brigade combat team which average about 3,000-4,000.  In fact, 26,000 is larger than a division (the Army only has eleven active component divisions).  If this number is accurate, then perhaps we've already reached the point of "contracting the Afghan War" which may be a sign it's time to pull out.